June 15, 2022 at 7:50 pm #26564
Hi, mama and papa BB are on their second set of babies this season with four eggs. Three hatched a couple of days ago, but sadly one egg hasn’t hatched. One of the hatchlings seems weak, moves around a little but doesn’t stick its head up like the others when I check on them. It’s been extremely hot here, thinking it may be dehydrated. We put out live mealworms twice a day and have a birdbath. Anything else we can do?
LisaJune 16, 2022 at 8:26 am #26566
Lisa, you need to have a heat shield on the box when it gets to around 90 degrees – not hard to do but does take some work. Basically you need to put some type of shield (preferably styrofoam) on the west and south sides and top of the box, with appropriate (1/2 inch) dead air space between the box and shield. See http://www.sialis.org for information. Good luck. Hope others jump in here to give their information.June 18, 2022 at 11:54 pm #26582
Carol, thanks as always for your reply! My husband made a temporary shield out or cardboard and aluminum foil which seems to have helped, but it’s not quite the right size to shield the area needed so we’re working on modifying it or may just make a styrofoam one. All three birds are sticking their heads up now when I check on them and seem to be doing well. Mama and Papa are doing a great job and one of the young ones from the first batch tags along sometimes too! There’s still an unhatched egg in the box, not sure what happened there but the other birds hatched before the weather got really hot, so maybe that wasn’t the cause. We’re wondering whether to try to get the egg out, worried it may break and make a mess?!?
LisaJune 19, 2022 at 7:35 am #26583
Lisa. glad you got up some sort of heat shield – 1″ Styrofoam is probably the best choice. As far as the unhatched egg, it is recommended to leave it alone – it will usually get pushed down into the nest – however I believe you could remove it if you are absolutely sure it is not going to hatch. Good luck!June 20, 2022 at 8:01 pm #26589
Update— managed to get unhatched egg out when babies shifted to the other side. It was 7-8 days since other eggs hatched, so I wasn’t worried about whether it was viable. I candled it and judging from online candling pics, the egg was never fertilized (all yellow inside). Makes me feel better that it wasn’t due to the hot weather! Three other babies looking great, getting fat on the mealworms and putting on pin feathers—June 21, 2022 at 10:52 am #26590
Lisa, good job on getting the non-viable egg out – and great the babies are getting fat on the mealworms – just remember they are a treat and not meant to be their main diet. I had to cut back on feeding the worms because of the shortage in getting them. I went from feeding two times a day to one time and they seem to be hunting good on their own so I am not worried – the five juveniles are very large now and I could not feed all the blues plus I have five more in the box being incubated now. They don’t seem to mind but are definitely ready for them at the evening meal. I probably don’t have enough worms but for a couple weeks (even after getting more at a fairly local Pet Smart store $$$$$ – don’t want to do that much!!! If the weather ever cools off some I may be able to get my five or ten thousand like I normally do – come October I will be switching to peanut butter suet!June 21, 2022 at 2:17 pm #26591David in Stafford,VAParticipant
Lisa, it is good to see that your little ones are feeding and getting bigger. And for you and Carol – even though I grow my own mealworms, I am finding (at least for this batch of new ones) the parent birds are not taking as many worms as they used to. Maybe it has something to do with the heat or they have found a good supply of natural insects and seeds. I have just lowered my feeding to about 35+ twice a day.
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